Sunday, April 2, 2017

Cessna 172N Skyhawk II, N734SN: Accident occurred April 02, 2017 at Sky Acres Airport (44N), Dutchess County, New York

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Teterboro, New Jersey

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:
Albany Aviation NY LLC: 

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA219
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, April 02, 2017 in Millbrook, NY
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N734SN
Injuries: 1 Minor, 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that during approach, after fully extending the flaps, he felt the airplane was descending too quickly, so he added power. He added that "the aircraft was nearly down when [a] crosswind" drifted the airplane off the runway centerline. The pilot added more power, but the stall warning horn sounded and the nose dropped down. The airplane impacted a drainage pond to the left of the runway and came to rest inverted.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and empennage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

UNION VALE - One person sustained minor injuries Sunday after a plane carrying four people left its runway and came to rest overturned in a small pond.

The incident occurred at the Sky Acres Airport, according to state police. Troopers began investigating the incident around 1:30 p.m.

A Cessna Skyhawk II had been attempting to land on Runway 17, police said, when it ran off the east shoulder and into the pond.

One of the passengers was transported to Mid Hudson Regional Hospital for minor injuries.

The Federal Aviation Administration was notified of the investigation, police said.

Sky Acres Airport declined to comment on the incident.

Story and comments:

DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. -- Emergency responders rushed to the Sky Acres Airport in Lagrangeville after a small plane flipped over on Sunday afternoon.

A Cessna 172 Skyhawk II was attempting to land on Runway 17 at around 1:30 p.m. when it ran off the east shoulder and came to rest overturned in a small pond, state police said.

The aircraft was carrying the pilot and three other passengers at the time of the crash, police said. One passenger was transported to MidHudson Regional Hospital with minor injuries, according to authorities.

The Federal Aviation Administration was notified of the investigation.

The airport closed around the time of the incident. 

Original article can be found here:

New York State Police Investigate Minor Aircraft Accident

Major Robert M. Nuzzo
Troop K Commander


On Sunday, April 2nd, around 1:30PM The New York State Police investigated a minor airplane accident that occurred at the Sky Acres Airport, 30 Airway Dr in the Town of Union vale.  A single engine fixed wing Cessna Skyhawk II was attempting to land on runway 17 when it ran off the east shoulder and came to rest overturned in a small pond.  The aircraft was carrying the pilot and three other passengers at the time of the crash.  Only one passenger was transported to Mid Hudson Regional Hospital for minor injuries.   The Federal Aviation Administration was notified of the investigation.

Who has the cheapest airfares in South Carolina? It all depends on fuel costs, competition, plane size

Charleston International may be South Carolina's busiest airport, but it's not the cheapest.

That distinction belongs to Myrtle Beach International, according to the latest available figures for round-trip tickets for the state's six largest airports from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Airline ticket prices in Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach and Greenville-Spartanburg tumbled during the third quarter of 2016 over the same period a year earlier, based on an analysis by The Post and Courier.

Statewide, fares fell an average 9.9 percent quarter over quarter, and the trend of paying less to fly is not only touching down in South Carolina.

Nationally, average domestic seat prices dipped about 8.8 percent to $344 in the third quarter of 2016 from the same quarter the previous year. Fares, which do not include baggage fees and other ancillary airport expenses, have now declined seven consecutive quarters since 2014, when fuel prices began to drop amid a world glut of oil.

Fueling fares

Aviation analysts and airport officials attribute the descent in fares to lower fuel costs, increased competition and a move by airlines to newer aircraft.

"There is no single dynamic driving the current drop in airline fares," said aviation analyst Michael Boyd of The Boyd Group International near Denver. "Fuel prices are part of it. Airplanes are more fuel efficient, too, and that's going to increase over the next two or three years as airlines replace older planes with newer ones."

He called fuel prices "stable, not low," though they are lower than they were three years ago.

In Charleston, for instance, Boyd cited an influx of additional air service as one of the contributing factors to lower fares.

Since 2014, not only have new routes been added to the heavily populated Northeast and to South Florida from Charleston, but also Alaska Airlines now flies nonstop between the Lowcountry and its home base in Seattle, a nod to the region's transcontinental connection to Boeing Co., which assembles wide-body jets in North Charleston and the Pacific Northwest.  

As for fares, Charleston International, in the booming three-county coastal port region of airplane and auto manufacturers, landed at No. 2 in the state. The average price to fly round-trip from the nation's 75th largest airport — about $359 — dipped nearly $25 quarter over quarter, down about 6.5 percent.

Charleston connects nonstop with 23 airports in 17 cities, all through national airlines such as Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest and United. It expects to shepherd 4 million arriving and departing passengers through its terminal this year, doubling the number of ticket holders since 2010.

For the best prices, look to the Palmetto State's northeast coast.

The average domestic fare for the Grand Strand airport, the nation's 110th largest based on passenger counts, dipped to about $201, dropping nearly $15, or 6.9 percent, from the third quarter of 2015 to the same period last year.

Myrtle Beach offers nonstop flights to about three dozen markets, many through mid-size providers such as Allegiant, Porter and Spirit along with larger mainline carriers American, Delta and United. Its destinations include many mid- and large-size cities in the Midwest and Northeast, where many Grand Strand vacationers live.

At Columbia Metropolitan Airport, the nation's 114th busiest terminal with eight nonstop destinations and three carriers, the price dropped 6.3 percent quarter over quarter. Fares at Greenville-Spartanburg International, down 2.4 percent, and Florence Regional Airport, 9.8 percent cheaper, also reflect the year-over-year decline.

The most expensive airport to fly out of in the state sits on Hilton Head Island, though the average round-trip price plummeted by more than $121, or 22.2 percent, from the third quarter of 2015 to the same period last year to nearly $426.

Airport director Jon Rembold couldn't speculate on the cause for the steep drop in price, but Beaufort County Council Chairman Paul Sommerville said it could be the airport's lone carrier, American Eagle, dropped prices in anticipation of future competition entering the market.

Rembold said he does not know of any new carriers coming to the island.

Hilton Head Island Airport is in the process of extending its runway to 5,000 feet so larger jets can use the airport. Completion is expected by mid-2018.

In Charleston, residents welcome the lower fares for the most part.

"I think they are pretty low compared to most places," said William Price of Charleston as he waited to go through security at Charleston International with friend Jordan Townsley.

"You can go to Boston, New York or D.C. for less than $150," said Price, as the two left on a Delta flight for a weekend in the Big Apple.

Mary Pat Calvert of West Ashley agreed. Traveling to Philadelphia with her daughter, McCallum, Calvert called the prices out of Charleston "amazing." She also cited the ease of getting in and out of the airport.

Lauren Alexander of Hollywood likes the prices, too. "They are very reasonable," she said, as she and her husband, Danny, left for Boston.

But not everyone thinks rates are low enough.

Boston-bound Nicole Alexander of Ladson said, "I think they could be a little bit cheaper."

Propelling costs

In Myrtle Beach, airport director Scott Van Moppes cited a combination of factors for the lower costs to fly.

"Fuel plays such a high contributing factor, not only for pricing but for competition," he said. "We also have the most nonstop destinations of any airport in South Carolina. You would think Charleston would have the most."

With close to 2 million passengers arriving and departing a year, Myrtle Beach is among the top beach destinations in the Southeast. Many Midwest and Northeast residents have second homes in the area, Van Moppes said.

Charleston airport CEO Paul Campbell also cited the price of fuel as a main contributor to declining airfares.

"Petroleum costs have come way, way down," he said.

He also said some airlines are switching to wide-body planes for higher fuel efficiency, which also contributes to lower overall costs.

"You put more people on the plane, and they get better fuel economy per passenger mile," Campbell said.

"The fact that JetBlue and Southwest continue to grow and add destinations also helps to keep rates down," he said. "Competition always helps."

At Columbia Metropolitan, which saw about 1.2 million passengers arriving and departing last year, the main item besides lower fuel costs driving down airfares is a marketing campaign that started about five years ago to try to keep people from driving to Charlotte or elsewhere to catch a cheaper flight.

"It changed people's perceptions and booking habits," said Anthony Gilmer, air service and marketing manager for Columbia's airport. "If they find a reasonable flight, they book it, and that's kind of snowballed into five years of growth here."

With more local people using the Capital City's airport, airlines followed suit with larger aircraft and more seats.

"Fares come down when there are more seats because of supply and demand," Gilmer said.

He noted that a 50-seat jet from Delta or American has now morphed into bigger planes that offer more amenities that some Midlands air travelers might crave, such as wireless Internet and first-class seating.

"It's an all-around better passenger experience when you start moving around in a larger cabin," Gilmer said.

Original article can be found here:

Technology Can Help Tyro Pilots but Often Isn’t Enough: The issue is the misguided notion that advances in technology can allow inexperienced pilots to do things they shouldn’t be doing, at the expense of the flying public

The Wall Street Journal
March 30, 2017 5:24 p.m. ET

Opinion / Letters

In his March 22 letter “Weakening the Flying Public’s Safety Net,” National Air Transportation Association President Martin H. Hiller is incorrect in his assessment. “To assist internet investors and satisfy conservative economists” is not the issue here. The issue is the misguided notion that advances in technology can allow inexperienced pilots to do things they shouldn’t be doing, at the expense of the flying public. This is a much wider and deeper debate of the runaway use of technology in all phases of our lives, which includes the concept of driverless cars and our march toward becoming cyborgs.

Robert J. Stewart, P.E.
Savannah, Georgia 

Original article can be found here:

The Wall Street Journal
March 21, 2017 6:08 p.m. ET

Opinion / Letters

Weakening the Flying Public’s Safety Net:   If a pilot wants to get paid to fly, he must comply with regulatory requirements placed on charter aircraft

The Journal continues to provide a platform for proposals to remove the safety net protecting the flying public, seemingly to assist internet investors and satisfy conservative economists. “An Easy Way to Make the Skies Friendlier” (op-ed, March 16) by Christopher Koopman and Eli Dourado suggests helping disadvantaged private pilots build experience by letting them fly passengers for hire. Having failed to undermine safety through the courts (op-ed, Nov. 16, 2016), proponents now suggest Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao act by fiat, or Congress pass legislation, to weaken the flying public’s safety net.

Contrary to the authors’ assertions, the FAA has been consistent in its policy. If a pilot wants to get paid to fly, he must comply with regulatory requirements placed on charter aircraft. These include additional pilot training and increased oversight of the aircraft’s maintenance. The FAA allows a limited exception for people with a common purpose to share expenses on a trip with the same destination.

The authors’ proposal allows pilots with as few as 35 hours, no training for flying in poor weather, no insurance or even the need to file a flight plan, to carry passengers for hire. Supporters of this proposal continue to try and distract readers by focusing on the technology used to communicate, despite clear direction from the FAA and courts that it isn’t the method but rather the intent and outcome of the communication that matters.

Martin H. Hiller
National Air Transportation Association

Original article can be found here:

An Easy Way to Make the Skies Friendlier:  Elaine Chao could open the way to ride-sharing for planes

March 15, 2017 6:51 p.m. ET

Opinion / Commentary (U.S.)

Uber is great, but ride-sharing for airplane pilots, potentially the most disruptive innovation in the sharing economy, hasn’t gotten off the ground. The Supreme Court clipped its wings by declining to hear a case brought by Flytenow, ending the tiny company’s yearslong quest to survive. The Trump administration or Congress could provide a remedy to let flight-sharing take off again.

The U.S. has more than 200,000 general aviation aircraft—small planes, most capable of carrying two or four people, including the pilot. There are almost as many private pilots—licensed to carry passengers but not to receive payment for their services. Under Federal Aviation Administration regulations, private pilots who want to carry passengers must have at least three takeoffs and landings every 90 days. To maximize proficiency and safety, it’s a good idea for private pilots to fly even more often.

But many private pilots can’t afford to fly as often as they’d like. Landing fees, deicing, fuel and other costs add up quickly. For decades, pilots have defrayed these costs by posting their planned destinations on airport corkboards in hope of attracting passengers willing to pay for expenses, the only compensation private pilots are allowed to receive.

Extending this practice to the internet age is a no-brainer—simply replace the corkboard with a website. Private pilots find more passengers, save on fuel costs, fly more routes, and gain proficiency. Passengers get a new, cheap, and convenient point-to-point air travel option.

The FAA hates the idea. In 2014, it ruled that pilots using Flytenow’s digital corkboard were “common carriers.” That status required that they apply for commercial certification—notwithstanding the FAA’s decades-old approval of expense-sharing.

How can the FAA get away with such an anti-innovation ruling? The short answer is that it alone decides what constitutes a “common carrier.” The FAA’s authorizing statutes use the term but don’t define it. The FAA does so through “guidance” rather than formal regulation.

The good news is that this is easy to fix. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao could simply order the FAA to issue new guidance narrowing the definition of a common carrier. A narrower definition would legalize not only flight-sharing services, but also other yet-unknown aviation services, serving as a catalyst for innovation. Alternatively, and for a more permanent fix, Congress could define “common carrier” within the aviation statutes.

If one or both of these fixes were applied, the U.S. could start to catch up with Europe, which already allows flight-sharing. Wingly is a European platform that not only permits pilots to post itineraries but allows passengers to post requests for transportation. This bidirectional bargaining is something that no American flight-sharing service even tried, because it goes well beyond what the FAA allowed, even in the corkboard era.

As long as the FAA cannot provide predictability and stability, innovators will continue to find friendlier skies in countries like France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Messrs. Koopman and Dourado are fellows at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.

Original article can be found here: